THE biggest crackdown on drugs Calderdale has ever seen has led to three key heroin dealers being locked up.
Cousins Tahir Mahmood, 26, and Shaheed Mahmood, 25, each got five years and four months.
Shazad Ibrar, 24 was jailed for three years and four months.
They had admitted having lead roles in a street-dealing conspiracy exposed by undercover officers as part of Operation Irondale.
Over a seven-month period, up to four undercover officers used drug addicts in the King Cross area of Halifax as unwitting go-betweens to target the activities of the so-called “Biggy Line”.
Prosecutor Adrian Dent told a court the “Biggy Line” was one of a number of networks engaged in mobile phone drug dealing and the undercover officers set up a dozen meetings at various locations to buy heroin.
“This seems to have been a well-run operation dealing in small amounts on repeated occasions,” said Mr Dent.
The court heard how one of the undercover officers was questioned about his origins by Tahir Mahmood. Mr Dent submitted that Tahir was clearly very concerned about maintaining the integrity of the operation and was prepared check up when there were suspicions.
Judge John Potter was told that back in November 2006, the Mahmoods and their co-accused Ibrar had all been sent to prison for 42 months for supplying Class A drugs to undercover officers.
Barrister Christopher Diamond, for Tahir Mahmood, said he had not returned to drug dealing straight away following his release from his previous sentence in 2008.
Mr Diamond said there had been a gap of two years during which his client, of Parkinson Lane, King Cross, had done his best to get a job and lead a normal life with his wife and child.
He said Mahmood eventually came up against a brick wall and succumbed to dealing in small quantities of heroin again.
His cousin Shaheed Mahmood, of Craven Terrace, Pellon, Halifax, was also said to have had difficulty getting work after his previous prison sentence and his lawyer Stephen Uttley conceded that he had fallen back into his old ways.
The court heard that Ibrar, of Paddock Lane, Norton Tower, Halifax, had been due to marry his fiancee later this year but that would now have to be postponed.
Ibrar, who also admitted being part of the conspiracy to supply heroin, was sentenced to three years and four months in jail.
Passing sentence Judge Potter said people like the defendants who dealt in Class A drugs had access to significant profits and were driven by greed.
“Your greed and selfishness fed the need of others for drugs and therefore indirectly contributed to community-wide harm in Halifax and elsewhere,” he added.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern, Divisional Commander for Calderdale Police, said: “The nature and scale of this ongoing operation demonstrates our commitment to targeting criminals in Calderdale who think they can get away with preying on law-abiding people.
“I hope today’s sentence sends out a clear message to all criminals that we will not stand-by and allow people to live off the proceeds of their crimes.
“Calderdale is an extremely safe place to be because we work closely with our communities to root out the minority who think it is acceptable to lead lives of crime.
“I would encourage residents to continue working with officers, and report any information they have on criminal activity to us immediately. We will always act on the information we receive, and operations like Irondale are a prime example of this.”